Have an organised and stress free Christmas

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Here are this year’s tips for having an organised and stress free Christmas…

christmas-bow-green

The West Australian 2009 Habitat article ‘Christmas proof your home’

Sara Hall and Heather Gibson, Professional Organisers from Finer Details Concierge and Organising Services

The West Australian 2010 Habitat article ‘Stress free Christmas countdown’

Decluttering your home Sara Hall, Professional Organiser from Finer Details Personal Concierge Services gives tips for an organised, decluttered, stress free ChristmasStart early!  Make a list of everything you want to achieve before Christmas and break each tasks down into small steps.  Divide your rooms up and tackle them area by area.  Even 15 minutes a day will make a difference, if you stay focused and don’t get side tracked. Allocating the time on your calendar will help with the planning. Declutter by separating items into what you want to keep, throw away, donate or sell.  At the end of each week (at the least!), take your donate items to your favourite charity – get them out of your home before Christmas! Here are some suggestions of what you can achieve in 15 minutes: Grab a rubbish bag and quickly declutter your pantry, fridge and freezer – get rid of out of date and old food items, empty bottles, items you no longer use and make room for Christmas items. Get the spare room ready for guests – take 15 minutes to declutter the floor and surfaces and then allocate the next session to drawers, then cupboards etc until the whole room is decluttered and freshened. Declutter your handbag and wallet – get rid of unused loyalty cards, scraps of paper, unneeded receipts Purchasing gifts, wrapping gifts/organising and sending cards Sara Hall, Professional Organiser from Finer Details Personal Concierge Services gives tips for an organised, decluttered, stress free ChristmasGo through your contact lists and start a spreadsheet of who you will be sending cards to and giving presents to (or use our free Finer Details Christmas organiser to do this) . Do you have a list from last year or do you need to start one from scratch. If you receive Christmas cards from someone this year who wasn’t on your list – add them now, at least you won’t forget them next year!  If you get any ‘return to sender’ – make note to get their new address. Think about your Christmas cards – will it include a family update, photos, invitations? Draft up a letter and recheck it in a couple of days before writing it up. If you have a really long list of cards to send, break the lists down into categories, like friends, businesses, overseas, family and tackle one category at a time. List all the occasions you will need gifts for – don’t forget dinner, office party host gifts, Chris cringles and stocking fillers. Brainstorm ideas for Christmas gifts for each person and make a list of ideas, especially if you are the ‘go to person’ for gift ideas (if this is you, make a note of who is buying which gift so that the gift receiver doesn’t end up with lots of the same thing).  Note down dress or shoe sizes for clothing, also note things like favourite colours, animals etc.

It’s important not to forget yourself in the list, how often do you think of things you would really like, but when you get asked the question, not one idea comes to mind! Also think about getting a couple of extra generic gifts you can have in, just in case an occasion occurs where you need a gift. If you have gifts to send overseas, note the sending date on your calendar, as these will need to be sent earlier.  Here are Australia Post’s deadlines Consider buying experiences, like a balloon ride, dinner, zoo keeper for the day, whale watching rather than physical items. Designate a drawer or cupboard to gifts and keep wrapping paper, cellotape, scissors, ribbons, gift tags and a nice pen in with the gifts.   If you have a lot of ribbon reels, use a paper towel dispenser to store them on.  This can be used all year, and is great to make sure you don’t get double ups or end up finding gifts after Christmas!  An under the bed container is also great for keeping wrapping paper and gift wrapping paraphernalia in. Create a simple spreadsheet for recording gifts received so that on Christmas day, all you need to do is grab the spreadsheet and jot down what was received by whom to make sending thank your cards later a breeze. Sara Hall, Professional Organiser from Finer Details Personal Concierge Services gives tips for an organised, decluttered, stress free ChristmasWrapping paper tips:

  • An easy and quick way to wrap gifts that looks fantastic – Buy plain white boxes to put the gifts in and decorate with a strip of festive wrapping paper and a ribbon, both wrapped around the centre of the box.
  • Buy a second hand or cheap children’s Christmas illustrated book and use the pages as wrapping paper for smaller items.
  • For gifts that are too big to wrap and put under the tree, either wrap a toy/model size version or an accessory (like a remote) instead
  • If you run out of paper, use alfoil.  Keep the alfoil flat and uncreased, fold over the edges to make it look neat before wrapping the gift and decorating with ribbon.
  • For large gifts – buy a festive disposable table cloth to use as wrapping paper.

Have a fantastic Christmas and if you would like  friendly professional help organising your home or office, simply contact Finer Details

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